Updated: Mar 22, 2019
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
~ Albert Camus
In Northern hemisphere the fall equinox marks an important transition between summer and fall, a time when we reap what we have sown—both literally and figuratively. This is a time for harvesting summer’s abundance, planting new seeds for the spring, for contemplating new ideas, and for of course for medicine-making and rituals.
In Classical Chinese Medicine, Autumn is when the cool, sinking energy of Yin has begun to overpower the hot, rising Yang energy of summer. Season is associated with death, contraction, and the ending of cycles. It is also recognized as a time of decision making, when we must choose what to let go of and what to carry forward in order to ensure our survival during the cold, difficult winter season.
The element associated with autumn is Metal and the main organ for this element is the Lungs. The core emotion associated with Metal is grief, and the aspect of Spirit is the P’o - an aspect of the Spirit that dies with the physical body and that is believed to mediate the expression of emotions through the physical body. At the psycho-spiritual level, the Metal element has to do with the unconscious mind and psychosomatic complaints. Emotional problems that may accompany Metal imbalance include low self-esteem, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, unresolved grief, depression characterized by a lack of connectedness, and a host of psychosomatic complaints.
As you move into the autumn season, be especially mindful of repressed emotions and unresolved issues as they are believed to be factors contributing for imbalances to manifest. This is a good time also to develop awareness of where your emotions go in your body: when you get emotional, does your heart beat faster, does your stomach knot up, do you get neck pain? By becoming aware of the connections between your feelings, emotions and physical reactions you may be able to track the development of psychosomatic symptoms.
You can learn about your emotions, their importance, role and significance from the empathy pioneer Karla McLaren, author of The Art of Empathy: A Complete Guide to Life's Most Essential Skill and The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You.
You can work on releasing emotions before they begin to manifest in the body through flower essence therapy, breathwork, bodywork, aromatherapy, and routines like yoga and Qi Gong.
Classical Chinese Medicine attribute the following essential oils to balance the Metal element:
Fir Needle Silver
German/ Blue Chamomile